Students seek added safety and increased awareness

At Gardena High School, a deafening shot fired accidentally from inside a backpack struck two innocent classmates.  Tennessee State University saw   a heated argument between two classmates lead to gunshots fired.  In Columbine in 1999, two assailants massacred 13 classmates in the broad daylight.
And now with the recent tragedy in Tucson, campus shootings are thrust into the limelight again.  The question of campus safety is raised, and students are wondering whether they should feel safe.
“What happened in Columbine was pretty scary, and set the tone on how school shootings can get crazy and some times can’t be prevented,” Andy Miller, communications major, said.
Incidents within the last few years have caused more students to be worried.
“I’m not saying that the campus police are lousy, but I think they can do a little more to help bring assurance for student safety,” Hillis Sherfield, psychology major, said.
Communication and awareness seems to be the key, as students acknowledged not being very alert.
“I would say that there needs to be more awareness on campus, to be more alert of our surroundings,” Armand Rodriguez, Japanese major, said.
Night classes are also a major student concern.
“I think that there should be closer parking available for students, because it gets pretty dark at night here, and just more security around in the evening would help,” Stacey Koo, architecture major, said.
Other students believe that the campus should take even more precautions at all times of the day to help ensure safety to those at EC.
“There should be more security cameras throughout the campus, to help catch things students aren’t aware of, when we’re in class or walking around,” Sherifield said.
Although many can argue that campus shootings can’t always be prevented, many students do feel assured that campus security are doing their best.
“I don’t really think that there is a problem with our security on campus, I do see them a lot more on campus now, and they’re doing what they can,”Mariana Villegas, journalism major, said.
Students also agree that the campus doesn’t display an environment of endangerment.
“Everyone around the campus seems to be at peace here, and to themselves for the most part, I don’t see too many problems to be worried about on campus,” Joey Carreras, undecided major, said.
Students do agree that if an incident like a campus shooting were to occur on campus they believe they wouldn’t know what to do.
“If I was in a classroom where someone had a gun and it went off, I would be in shock and probably adrenaline would take over, but I would at least try to call 911 as soon as I could,” Alex Ventura, political science major, said.
According to a recent New York Times article in regards to the Tucson shooting that occurred in January, the alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner was diagnosed with mental instability and never sought out professional help.
With this in mind some students believe that the campus should teach students about mental illness awareness or provide more assistance to students with such illnesses.
“You can’t really help people when they have illnesses like that, but it would help if there’s a way the campus could provide some type of information that can help us out pick up on it,” Miller, said. “Because I honestly wouldn’t know what to do or how to tell,” he said.
Although faculty and students admit that they aren’t prepared for such events, many feel great assurance in the safety of the campus.
“Things like that are unpredictable, and I believe we have enough security to manage, and we just have to take it as comes,” Carreras said.